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The Schoolmaster's Daughter

3.21 of 5 stars 3.21  ·  rating details  ·  186 ratings  ·  34 reviews
With the outbreak of the American revolution, Abigail Lovell's family is torn apart—while her schoolmaster father is an outspoken loyalist and prominent figurehead in the community, she and her two brothers engage in acts of espionage to undermine the British forces in Boston. Her sickly older brother, James, operates the patriots’ spy ring while Abigail acts as a courier, ...more
Hardcover, 389 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Pegasus (first published January 1st 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 441)
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Sarah (I'll follow the Sun)
The Schoolmaster's Daughter follows Abigail Lovell, daughter of the headmaster of the Boston Latin School, through the events of the Siege of Boston during the Revolutionary War. Her family's loyalties were divided, with her father remaining a Loyalist while her brothers supported the revolutionary cause.

These events serve as a compelling backdrop, with the family discord echoing the tension between the Bostonians and the occupying British army. The tone of the novel, though, is strangely detach
...more
JoLene
2.5 stars
This is the story of a family during the Revolutionary War. The parents are loyalist and the children are not. While the story did peak my interest about this period (which I know very little), I didn't care for the book much. I had two major problems with it.....first and formost, I didn't really care about the family members. Second, the writing style bothered me so much that it was distracting (which might be responsible for not really caring about the characters. I think I might go
...more
Nancy
The author's other work won plaudits--and the setting was interesting. But this book failed to engage, on several levels:

The re-telling of familiar historical bits made it feel like Smolens was teaching a lesson, using a mix of people he made and plugging in British Generals and Paul Revere.

The lead character--Abigail--felt like woman as written by a man.

The characters' motivations and actions were curiously disjointed.

Lots of battle strategy and authentic detail without much of a human story to
...more
Gretchen
This book had five star potential. Then the end came and the author kind of shot himself in the foot. At the onset of this book, I found myself so immersed in colonial Boston. I could just envision all of the various streets and landmarks as Abigail made her way around Boston. And then the end happened. Ugh.

As an American, I am pretty ashamed of the little knowledge I have of the American Revolution. This is a "war" (Is it considered a war? There wasn't exactly a Congress around to declare war.)
...more
Timothy Bazzett
John Smolens' special niche has always been the literary thriller. In his last two books, THE ANARCHIST, and now, THE SCHOOLMASTER'S DAUGHTER, he has turned this talent toward historical fiction. With the former, it worked exceedingly well. But the latter novel lumbered laboriously along for a couple hundred pages before it began to hit its stride and lift of into the thriller mode, and even then it returned to earth too soon.

Make no mistake, I am a tried and true fan of Smolens books, so I sta
...more
Rachel
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Celine
I absolutely couldn't put this book down. I tend to be a fan of historical fiction, although I can't say I've read a lot of books set in this time period. The novel was completely realistic, and truly gave insight of what life would have been like for a patriot living in "unfriendly" territory. Kudos to the author on writing about such a strong female character. If ever a time period called for it, the American Revolution is it. As I read about those brave souls that risked their lives centuries ...more
Vicki Wood
I have read Cold and Fire Point by John Smolens and enjoyed both of them especially because of the way these books skillfully capture the culture and people of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. In The Schoolmaster's Daughter, Smolens renders the world of 1775-76 Boston just as memorably. The prose is so fluid that the narration glides along and almost masks the complex machinations that occured between the Bostonians and the English soldiers. I highly recommend this book for a humanized glimpse i ...more
maryanne
here is the updated version of Johnny Tremain, albeit with a female protagonist. I read this quickly, but it captured colonial Boston in the same way that Esther Forbes did with her novel. And given the recent popularity with YA books of somewhat graphic nature, this telling is provides more detail and insight into human nature. Characters are portrayed in a more realistic light, with full range of emotions and actions, good and bad. Would definitely recommend reading for middle/high school his ...more
Mary Piorun
OK - I liked the fact that it was set in Boston.
Donna Herrick
I really enjoyed getting some of the details about the first days of the Amrrican Revolution in Boston. The tension between sides of the dispute that pitted children aginst parents, and colonists against the mother country is well portrayed in this story. I really wanted some author's notes explaining which events and characters were real and which were fiction. The genius of this book's perspective is being in Boston during the seige.
Linda
This is a novel of historical fiction written by an English professor from my University, Northern Michigan University. The event portraied is the Revolution from England that takes place in Boston, MA. A family divided, Father and Mother are Tories loyal to the crown, and the adult children are all working as spies for the Revolution. Good character development and a wonderful easy read, for Historical Fiction.
Patricia
I read about this book when I was staying in Concord. The Concord Book Store was having an author's visit. I bought it and kept reading it because it had a few scenes of revolutionary Concord in it. As a novel, it is only so-so with a number of improbable events and changes of heart. I liked the strong female protagonist, but some of the plot lines really made me swallow my cynicism in order to finish it.
May
What a wonderful story! I live just north of Boston and was raised on stories of Bostonians' role in the Revolution. John Smolens did a wonderful job of exploring the choices families had to make during those years, the risks they took and the resulting ramifications.

A well done story. A great way to wait out a delayed flight home.
I recommend it!!!
Karis North
Just meh. The book is about the Boston occupation by the redcoats, Lexington and Concord, and the Battle of Bunker Hill, from the perspective of a patriot daughter of a loyalist father living in Boston. It should have been so much more interesting than it was. Oh well, I suppose that's why it was on $0.99 special on Kindle :-)
Ann
Interesting historical fiction about the US revolutionary war and the British occupation of Boston. I found it to be an interesting read but only gave it 3 stars because it didn't really engage me. I often felt like I was reading a history text book about battle strategies. I enjoyed his other books more.
Kathy Hale
Abigal is living in Boston as the rEvolutionary War breaks out. She and her family are torn between Tory and Whig. Starts out well put descends into a romance-type novel. Good if you like that sort of book; I'd rather read the real history.
Anne Ipsen
I loved this book. I live in the Boston area and the setting for my last two novels is Colonial Massachusetts, so I'm very familiar with the events of the beginning of the revolution, but learned many tidbits that were new (and perhaps invented?). I liked the way the author seamlessly melded the historical events with the story line, though not that there was no clue in the end pages of what was truth and what was fiction. though I usually dislike the fictionalization of well-known historical fi ...more
Nikki
If you like Historical Fiction, then you will like this book. Written well and a compelling story that makes you want to keep reading.
Karen
I was at first bored with this novel, but towards the end it picked up a bit. What the heck was the thing with the egg at the end?
Debra Dabell
Amazing book about the American Revolution. Takes place in Boston, so good I couldn't put it down.
Apryl Mason
I'd probably give this 3.5 stars. Pretty good historical fiction. I really liked it.
Marcus
Reads like an approved fourth grade history book for the state of Texas.
Jina Howell-Forbes
I really like learning history through a fictional story. It is not only that it is more fun for me to read, then a history book, I find it easier for me to remember the important events that way. This book was very entertaining. The characters were easy to get attached to, and none of them was all good or all bad. This is definitely my favorite revolutionary war story.

My only complaint with the book is the ending. It was as if the author was writing a great book, and then discovered he was up a
...more
Arlene
History interesting.
Caroline
I wanted to love it, I really did. But I think what broke this novel's potential in the very beginning is his choice to write from a female perspective when he clearly has none.

The book was filled with so many errors, but my personal favorite is this:

"Abigail felted tricked: the terms were changing." Page 60

I realize felted is a word and spell check won't correct it, but how can someone even write that? You'd have to be smashed, stupid, and negligent to miss a mistake like that.

Then I began to
...more
Jackie Levy
I really enjoy reading historical fiction in general, but this was not the best book to read. While it did give a picture of Boston at the beginning of the Revolution, I felt it left quite a bit to be desired. Story seemed somewhat contrived and the real historical figures seemed very flat to me.
Julia
Jul 11, 2014 Julia rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Julia by: Historical Fictionistas BOTM
The book description sounded interesting, but it didn't meet up to expectations.

For the first hundred pages I kept wondering whether to keep going. Then it got more interesting but didn't necessarily make sense. Character motivations were missing or odd. And I felt it petered out at the end.
Susan
I learned about this title from the Historical Fictionista's Goodreads group. Its strong female character tells the story of the occupation of Boston by the British from the Battle of Lexington and Concord, through the Battle of Bunker Hill, to evacuation day. Well worth reading.
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According to Northern Michigan University's website, John Smolens "...has published five novels Cold, The Invisible World, Fire Point, Angel’s Head, and Winter by Degrees, and one collection of short stories (My One and Only Bomb Shelter.) Cold was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, and the Detroit Free Press selected Fire Point as the best book by a Michigan author in 2 ...more
More about John Smolens...
Cold Quarantine The Anarchist Fire Point The Invisible World

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